BASF Chemical Company

Press Photo BASF

BASF's Friedrich Englehorn building in Ludwigshafen, Germany.

Chemical company BASF will combine its water treatment, oilfield and mining solutions businesses to increase efficiency and support its growth strategies, according to a company announcement released Wednesday. The new global business, to become effective April 1, 2013, will be located in Ludwigshafen, Germany.

BASF offers products for industrial and municipal water treatment, products for the drilling and completion of oil wells, and mineral processing reagents for the mining industry. All three businesses include parts of the polyacrylamide (PAM) value chain. With the combination of these businesses, BASF said it is taking various steps to increase efficiency and operational excellence in its PAM operations. Significant investments are planned to upgrade the performance of existing production plants, create additional capacity, strengthen R&D efforts, and establish a new bio-acrylamide process for further cost optimization, BASF said.

As part of its worldwide operational improvement program for its water solutions business, the company said it expects to reduce its workforce by about 215 positions worldwide. Most of the planned job reductions will occur at the Bradford and Grimsby, UK sites.

“The planned comprehensive measures are needed to achieve cost competitiveness. These efforts will be backed by considerable investments in new technologies in Europe as well as in North America and in R&D,” said Hans W. Reiners, President of BASF’s Performance Chemicals division, in the announcement. The company said it expects to complete the planned measures by the end of 2015.

BASF’s water solutions business in the future will fully concentrate on providing innovative chemical solutions to the water market, the company said. To this end, BASF is planning to divest its service-oriented industrial water management business, located in Lyon, France, to a strategic partner to further expand the business.